By Jay Wilson
The October meeting of the Del Cerro Action Council (DCAC) met on Monday, Oct. 22, to accommodate the very busy schedule of Dr. Adela de la Torre, the new president of San Diego State University and our special guest for our meeting.
“I have only been on the job for 100 days and so far, I am being a listener to everyone from SDSU staff to community leaders. I want to make sure SDSU is a good neighbor,” de la Torre said, before taking questions on a variety of issues.
How do you see the project at Qualcomm?
“In the last three months, I have seen a tremendous demand for SDSU to grow. It is the only contiguous property available to us. Realistically, we have to more forward to acquire that land. With it, we can attract the kind of industry that will compliment SDSU. We have over 100,000 applicants for students and grad students. The opportunities are great at SDSU and the Qualcomm campus will greatly enhance our opportunities. Sixty percent of SDSU students end up living and working in San Diego.”
A homeowner who lives on Adobe Falls Road at Mill Peak asked if SDSU could raise the height of the fence. The current height is not a good deterrent to keep individuals from climbing over the fence and down into the Adobe Falls area.
President de la Torre stated that should not be a major project and she was confident it could be done.
What is the future of developing Adobe Falls for homes?
“The vision is different from development of Adobe Falls. Qualcomm is much more attractive. The housing projects are in the 2007 master plan, but we do not have Adobe Falls housing in the current plans as far as I am concerned.”
What about the Adobe Falls area following the fire?
Dr. Frost responded to the Adobe Falls problem. Frost reiterated that there is a lot that can be done from SDSU in a positive manner. He also mentioned the problem with the runoff from rains that will impact the property downstream.
Dr. de la Torre commented on how the state college and the UC systems work.
“The SDSU master plan began in 1968. A group of individuals decided we would have a divided system. Times have changed. Look at SDSU now, and realize the volume of what we can offer. We have 19 doctoral programs. Currently we have to negotiate to expand our doctoral programs. There are new doctoral degrees and we have to bargain with the UC system to offer these new programs. We need to find a way to allow the system to operate in the most beneficial way. There is politics involved in the UC system dividing the UC and state system. It is time to modify the master plan. We have the faculty who can offer the next level of academics. There is strong interest in updating the master plan. I would assume that within two years, there will be a change to benefit SDSU.”
What percentage of students are commuters?
“Over 50 percent of students live around here are ‘community students.’ Next year, we will have 7,200 on-campus beds. Beginning next year, freshmen will not be able to have a car on campus.
How can we increase cooperation between SDSU and the local schools with an emphasis on STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and music)?
“All of the SDSU faculty is interested.”
How can Del Cerro support you and SDSU?
“One of the things that is important is that we know about the issues well in advance. There are also opportunities for us to work with the community using our professors and expertise. We need to hear from you. I want to hear from the ground up.”
Dr. de la Torre thanked everyone for the invitation and the opportunity to meet with us, hear our concerns and for us to understand she is committed to working with us.
Update from Councilmember Sherman
Liz Saidkhanian, the director of outreach for Councilmember Scott Sherman, reported on calls to Councilmember Sherman’s office regarding renewed homeless in Chaparral Canyon. The police responded and removed the homeless from the canyon. She also stated the city had received a grant to assist with the removal of brush in Chaparral Canyon.
Saidkhanian was asked if the canyon property could become the property of the city’s Park and Recreation Department. The answer was the property below Lake Murray Dam, which makes up Chaparral Canyon, belongs to the Water Department ratepayers. In addition, there are security issues because of the property’s proximity to Lake Murray Dam.
She also reported that construction began in September on the new playground at Rancho Mission Park. It is a nine-month project.
All People’s Church
Kristen Byrne with the Atlantic Group, gave a brief update on the All People’s Church that is to be built below the Chevron Service Station. The church has submitted plans for a preliminary review to the city. She stated that Ken Smith will be the architect and Hammond Construction will build the church.
It was reported that a second request has been submitted to the city to replace the “No U Turn” sign for eastbound traffic on Del Cerro Boulevard.
The property management firm for the Windmill Shopping Center has been contacted regarding painting pedestrian walkways on the entry roads to the shopping center from Del Cerro Boulevard and Madra Avenue.
Next DCAC meeting will be on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El.
—Jay Wilson is secretary of the Del Cerro Action Council. For more information, visit delcerroactioncouncil.org.